Biotechnology companies almost invariably face long odds and a hostile environment. Most such ventures are essentially speculative, betting their investors' money and the efforts of their employees that a breakthrough will finally be achieved. It can be tempting to believe that once the moment arrives, then, that the battle has finally been won.

Quite the opposite is true, however. Plenty of biotech companies, even among those that clearly achieved the most ambitious of goals, fail to make the most of their breakthrough events. This reality has troubled observers of the industry for many years, in fact, with some seeing it as one of the clearest signs of wasted potential to be found anywhere.

Determined to avoid this fate, biotech leaders have tried to develop reliable strategies for turning their breakthroughs into cash flow. As detailed by researcher Mark Ahn at, one of the most common of these has been benchmarking proposed product launches against the past efforts of competing companies.

There are obvious reasons why this approach would appeal to many. For one thing, it promises to put a fresh, new, important experience onto familiar ground, seemingly allowing leaders to make better informed decisions. For another, it would seem to offer the hope of avoiding the problems that other companies have already succumbed to, improving the overall odds of success.

While those are some of the features that make the approach attractive, as pointed out by Mark Ahn at Oregon Live website, the reality is that this strategy rarely proves to be useful. Far from allowing biotech concerns to learn from the failures and experiences of those who have gone before, what it tends to do instead is limit the scope of their options.

For example, observed Mark Ahn, that means that even the most revolutionary new biotech product will likely be forced into staid, traditional marketing strategies. At Oregon Live mark ahn page also describes how the mere fact of becoming overly fixated on the ways that previous contenders have succeeded or failed tends to blind leaders to the uniqueness of their own companies' offerings.

It is entirely clear, then, that much needs to be learned about making the most of a biotech breakthrough in a marketing and business sense. It is equally clear, though, that simply transferring over approaches that have proven to be successful elsewhere is never a good idea. Undoubtedly ripe with potential, the biotech industry is also a domain where unique solutions are required.